Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: The End

I finished the book a few days ago and have been moping since.
The night after I finished reading, I couldn't bring myself to start another book. I watched the news instead: nothing like an overdose of rhetoric and posturing to get my mind off Edgar's world. I don't know if it will become a classic, as Oprah's magazine says, but it's one book that I won't forget.

The ending is tender and moving. The one aspect that I absolutely needed was there--thank goodness or I'll be moping even more--but it's still tragic.

The reader in me is utterly satisfied with the book. The writer in me is still trying to figure out what makes it work. As I mentioned in earlier reports on the book, it goes against quite a few of the writerly advice that is bantered about in writerly circles. Yet it made big, and deservedly so.

The only conclusion I come to is this: break all the rules you want, but you must be able to hold on to your readers. If your writing is good enough, than none of the rules matter.

It really is all about the writing.

If you're interested in my other reports on The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, here they are:
  1. This one is from when I started reading it.
  2. Here is the first update, with some favorite quotes.
  3. A day later, I read the part that made me go WHOA!
  4. In this one, I rant a bit.

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